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ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, ALSACAT is my comprehensive catalog of UFO sighting reports in Alsace, the region is the North-East of France, whether they are "explained" or "unexplained".

The ALSACAT catalog is made of case files with a case number, summary, quantitative information (date, location, number of witnesses...), classifications, all sources mentioning the case with their references, a discussion of the case in order to evaluate its causes, and a history of the changes made to the file. A general index and thematic sub-catalogs give access to these Alsatian case files.

Case of The Schauenberg, on the beginning of the 15th century:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1400-00-00-SCHAUENBERG-1

Summary:

Adolphe Landspurg, President of the "Geobiology and Tradition Association" in Soultz, the Haut-Rhin, wrote in his 1996 book "Dowsers and Traditional Science" that the fire once seen on the Schauenberg from the plain of Alsace was "an appearance followed by a disappearance of a craft from another dimension, emitting a bright light, facing the center of an ancient Druidic temple that is a transmitter of very high energy". For him this was a UFO case misinterpreted as a sign from the Heaven because of the religious beliefs of the time.

Already in 1969, the LDLN ufology magazine apparently published about this even as an ufological case, and Fernand Lagarde and the "Lumières Dans la Nuit" group saw a relation with UFOs in this, in their 1973 book.

The Schauenberg is indeed a place of worship of the "Virgin Mary", attested since 1441; there are much older megaliths there, and legends about a fire or light on the mountain.

One version says that about 1400 the inhabitants of Pfaffenheim saw an eerie glow appear on the mountain and then quickly - or slowly - disappear. They then exclaimed "Schaut am Berg!", "Look at the mountain!", which would be the origin of the place's name "Schauenberg", literally "to see" and "mountain". At the place where the light had appeared, hermit Uldaricus supposedly built a small chapel dedicated to his patron saint, Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg.

Alsatian legends expert Auguste Stoeber tells a different story: a knight returning from the Holy Land had promised to "Our Lady" to build her a chapel if he returned safely from his perilous journey. He sought a place to carry out his vow, when he heard a voice say "see the mountain", "Schau den Berg" in German. He did, and saw the Vosges foothills near Pfaffenheim glowing. Once on the spot, he saw a statue of the "Virgin" that the fire did not affect, or a statue of the Virgin coming out of the ground, in other versions. He therefore considered that this miracle meant that this was the place where he should build the promised chapel.

Alsatian historian Paul Stintzi gave yet another version. In the early 15th century, the place was called Hobourg - or rather Hohenburg. One day, the inhabitants of the plain saw the place on fire. Panicked, they shouted "Schaut am Berg" ("Look at the mountain"). At full speed, they went to the place of the supposed fire, but the found no trace of a forest fire.

In short, to claim on the basis of these disparate and imprecise religious legends that a "craft from another dimension" came there seems somewhat bold to me.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: About 1400
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: ?
Reporting delay: Centuries?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Pfaffenheim
Place: The Schauenberg
Latitude: 47.992
Longitude: 7.268
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Different versions, from 1 to many.
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Different versions, a knight, or villagers.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Legends
Type of location: From the plain in direction of the mountain, UFO on mountain.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Different versions, curious, or concerned.
Witnesses interpretation: Different version, sign from the Heavens, or forest fire.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL?
ALSACAT: Possible untrue legend, or meteor, or something else.

Sources:

[Ref. vb1:] VISCOUNT DE BUSSIERRE:


Some very-reliable documents, dating back more than four centuries, report that in the year 1400 the inhabitants of the plain saw the height at the foot of which are built Gueberschwyr and Pfaffenheim wrapped in a very bright light that disappeared gradually without leaving traces of its passage. From that time, the mountain, which hitherto had been called Hohenbourg, was designated as the Schau-en-berg (1).

This wonderful event decided a hermit named brother Udalric, to build a house in this place and a chapel dedicated to the saint bishop whose name he bore. Devotion and the extraordinary beauty of the place soon attracted the faithful because of the terrace of the sanctuary the enchanted look embraced all the plain of Alsace, with its many villages, castles and monasteries - the chain of the Black Forest and the Vosges serving the one as a background, the other as frame to this lovely sight.

[Ref. fl1:] FERNAND LAGARDE - GROUPE LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT:

Pfaffenheim (Guide, p. 360).

Around 1400, the inhabitants of the plain saw the mountains ablaze, although the forest remained intact (see p. 16, Contact, #100 bis).

[Ref. ls1:] "LIEUX SACRES" BLOG:

The pilgrimage of the Schauenberg and the miraculous statue

According to a legend, it began around 1400, when the inhabitants of Pfaffenheim saw ap[p]ear on the mountain a mysterious glow, which disappeared quickly. They then exclaimed "Schaut am Berg", ie, "look to the mountain". At the place of this ap[p]arition, a hermit came to settle, Uldaricus, who built a small chapel and dedicated to his holy patron: Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg (890-973), the first Catholic saint canonized by Pope John XV.

A second legend tells that a knight returning from the Holy Land and passing in front of the mountain, heard a mysterious voice saying "Schaut am Berg." Curious, he went there and found a statue of the Virgin coming out of the ground, surrounded by flames. He built at this place the first chapel.

[Ref. sh1:] "SCHAUENGERG HISTOIRE D'UN PELERINAGE" WEB PAGE:

Schauenberg: history of a pilgrimage (collected on the Internet)

Its genesis is mythical. Its origin is legendary. Whatever! The cult place overlooking the plain of Alsace above Pfaffenheim is still alive.

MYTH. - According to scholar Auguste Stoeber (1808-1883), the etymology of the Schauenberg pilgrimage is linked to a history of a knight returning from the Holy Land. The man had promised Our Lady to build a chapel to her if he returned safely from his perilous journey to the infidels. While he was in search of a ground to carry out his wish, a voice was heard: "See the mountain" (Schau den Berg, in German). He looked and saw the Vosges foothills glowing. It was near Rouffach in the vicinity of Pfaffenheim. As he went to the inflamed site, he saw a statue of the Virgin that the fire did not affect. He considered this miracle as a sign to create at this place his cult place. The ''Schauenberg'' was born.

LEGEND. - Historian Paul Stintzi also relates an anecdote of the beginning of the 15th century. The site where the shrine now stands was then called Hobourg. One day, the inhabitants of the plain saw the place on fire. Panicked, they shouted "Schaut am Berg!" ("Look at the mountain!"). At full speed, they went to the place of the alleged incident, but found the wood untouched! Since then the place was called Schauenberg... Let's specify however that the site of Schauenberg stared not far from a Celtic cult place, as evidenced by the altar of the Druids (a megalith) in the nearby forest. (read below)

HISTORY. - In reality, it seems that around 1400, a hermit named Uldaric has actually built beside his hermitage at a place called Hobourg (mentioned in the lyrics of "Schonenberg" from 1334), a chapel dedicated to Saint Ulrich Bishop of Augsburg. The place of worship is attested since 1441.

[...]

UFO. - In his recent book "Dowsers and traditional science", Adolphe Landspurg expresses the idea that the fire once seen from the plain could be of extraterrestrial origin: "We find here, on this megalithic landmark at the top of the Schauenberg all the items of an appearance followed by a disappearance of a craft from another dimension, emitting a bright light, landing in the center of an ancient Druidic temple emitting a very high energy (...). The legend told of a sign from the Heavens." Another time, another interpretation! (From L'Alsace for August 4, 1996)

Discussion:

Left:

Aerial view of the site. At the bottom right, the village of Pfaffenheim in the plain of Alsace, top left we distinguish the present chapel of the Schauenberg in the forest of the foothills of the Vosges. There is about a mile between the two locations.

Adolphe Landspurg has his website on www.landspurg.com and introduced himself as follows:

"Adolphe Landspurg is the President of the Assoc[i]ation Geobiology and Tradition headquartered in Soultz (Haut-Rhin ), 13 rue des Alouettes and the Honorary President of the Association of Dowsers and Geobiologists of Europe (750 members) headquartered in Soultz (Haut-Rhin) 4, rue Jean Jaurès."

"He is the author of twelve books on the art of dowsing, pendulum, of geobiology and landmarks vibration transmitters of beneficial energy in France, Switzerland and Germany."

"He is the co-inventor of the Cosbiotel cosmo-telluric harmonizer, the Landspurg Biorad System divining rod, and the inventor of the cosmo-telluric shifter and harmonizer of food and beverage Biorad Landspurg System."

It goes without saying that any legend on any light could be interpreted as sign of the activity of aliens, but it should also go without saying at least in this case that there is no evidence whatsoever to support such an interpretation.

A forest fire believed to be nearest than it was, or the glow of a bright meteor passing beyond the Vosges, for example, are also possible explanations.

Additions on August 18, 2014:

That day I found that the case had been considered a UFO event before Adolphe Landspurg didid it on his blog: ufologist Fernand Lagarde and the ufology group "Lumières dans La Nuit" did so in 1973 [Ref. fl1], and a "Contact Lecteurs" of the ufuology magazine LDLN [Ref. ld1] apparently also, even before.

Evaluation:

Possible untrue legend, or meteor, or something else.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:

Authoring:

Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 13, 2014 Creation, [vb1], [ls1], [sh1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 13, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross August 18, 2014 Addition [fl1]. In the Discussion, addition of the under "Additions on August 18, 2014." In the Summary, addition of the second paragraph, "Already in 1969 ...".

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This page was last updated on August 18, 2014.